Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR, is a simple emergency procedure that can save lives. It’s not a skill reserved only for medical professionals. Anyone can learn first aid and CPR and get their CPR certification in Alabama. Training courses and CPR certification give people and communities the right tools and knowledge to act when needed.
Anyone can give CPR as emergency aid to sudden cardiac arrest victims. Every second lost before giving CPR is the difference between life and death. Sudden cardiac arrest does not discriminate and can happen to anyone at any time.
Giving CPR aid can double the chances of keeping the victim alive. It is best to educate yourself on how and when to perform CPR. While you don’t need to be a medical professional, it’s best to be prepared and even invest in CPR certification. It is the start of your path to saving lives.
What is Cardiac Arrest?
The sudden stop of the heart is considered a cardiac arrest. Blood cannot reach your vital organs, depriving them of oxygen. Many reasons can be the cause, such as accidents, drowning, and even arrhythmia. The person loses consciousness, stops breathing, is unresponsive, and may have no pulse.
The rescuer must ensure the brain and vital organs of the victim receive enough oxygen. If they do not react immediately, the victim may suffer long-term consequences, like brain and internal organ damage. It can also lead to psychological side effects like anxiety and PTSD.
The Difference Between Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attack
While sometimes used interchangeably, there is a big difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest. During a heart attack, the blood supply is limited or blocked. This causes the heart to fail. Someone having a heart attack is often conscious and responsive. They may experience chest discomfort, which can last several days. Getting immediate treatment is a priority to avoid damaging the heart muscle.
Sudden cardiac arrest occurs without warning or indication. The person loses consciousness, and the oxygen supply in the body stops. In these situations, immediately start CPR and, if available, use an AED to make a life-saving difference.
Learn to recognize the differences so you can act accordingly.
Types of CPR
According to the Red Cross, there are two ways to perform CPR: hands-only CPR and CPR with rescue breaths. During cardiac arrest, the key is a swift action. Even if you are unfamiliar with traditional CPR, anyone can do hands-only CPR.
The hands-only CPR technique was developed to encourage bystander reaction during cases of SCA. There is no need for mouth-to-mouth contact. You only do firm and steady chest compressions without interruption. It’s simple to remember, but it can drastically increase the chances of survival.
CPR with rescue breaths or full CPR combines chest compression, rescue breaths, and AED. After doing 30 chest compressions, tilt back the head of the victim. This opens the airways and makes it easier to give rescue breaths.
In both cases, it’s important to check if the person is responsive. Call 911 before starting CPR and continue compressions until EMS arrives. Ask other bystanders for an AED for a better survival rate. The general public can access AEDs in airports, schools, government buildings, grocery stores, gyms, and other public spaces.
During cardiac arrest, everyone can and should receive CPR. While the core technique is the same, there are different guidelines for CPR on adults, children, and infants. Getting your CPR Certification in Alabama can teach you the nuances of giving CPR to various age groups.
CPR for Adults
An adult is any person past puberty. Use both hands and push fast and with even pressure. Compressions should be 2 inches deep. Give full breaths.
CPR for Children
A child is any person from age 1 to puberty. Considering the size of the child, use one or both hands. Compressions should not be more than 1.5 inches deep. Be careful when tilting the head for rescue breaths.
CPR for Infants
An infant is a person up to age 1. Never shake the baby! Gently tap the heel of the foot to check for consciousness. Use two fingers to give gentle compressions, no more than 0.25 inches. For rescue breaths, only use your cheeks and gently breathe air into the nose and mouth.
In each case, always call 911, act fast, and provide CPR until the Emergency Medical Services arrive. This way, the chances of recovery after hospital treatment also increase.
The Importance of CPR
Statistics show there are 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests per year in the US. Almost 90% of them are fatal. If bystanders start CPR immediately, this percentage will significantly decrease. Rapid response can increase the chance of survival by three times.
It also shows that prompt actions during out-of-hospital cardiac arrest vastly improve the chances of a full recovery. While CPR is only one part of the Chain of Survival, it is the first step on your path to saving lives.
Sudden cardiac arrest can occur without warning because the causes are not always obvious at first glance. Only 10% of victims experiencing out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survive. Studies show that the odds of survival can improve with immediate and quality CPR.
In Alabama, 69.1% of cardiac arrests happen in the home, but only 40% of bystanders initiate CPR. While people are most likely to witness the sudden cardiac arrest of a family member, many do not feel confident to give first aid and CPR because they lack knowledge.
The start of your path to saving lives can be getting a CPR certification in Alabama.
Why People Are Reluctant to Perform CPR
Unfortunately, most people do not think they have the right skills to give first aid and perform CPR. There is also the fear of further injuring the victim. Proper training and certification can boost confidence and significantly increase survival rates.
Many people are worried about the legal repercussions because not everyone knows the laws on giving emergency aid. Alabama has the Good Samaritan Act, protecting anyone who has provided emergency aid in good faith.
Why Become CPR Certified
Proper CPR certification can benefit not only your immediate family but your community as a whole. It will give you the knowledge to act confidently in emergencies.
There are many benefits to becoming CPR certified:
- The ability to save lives
- Recognize and respond to sudden cardiac arrest
- Help people experiencing a medical emergency
- Respond during natural disasters and accidents
- Meet job requirements
- Learn a lifelong skill
Who is Required to Become CPR Certified?
Today, many professions are required to have CPR certification, such as:
- School staff (teachers, coaches, counselors)
- Emergency responders (firefighters, police officers, paramedics)
- Flights attendants
- Sports coaches and trainers
- Medical workers
- Childcare workers
- Nursing home workers, etc.
Many businesses also choose to give their employees first aid and CPR training. All medical professionals need CPR certification to fulfill legal and professional work requirements.
How to Become CPR Certified
All you need to do to become CPR certified is to attend on-site classes and complete the training. The course lasts a few hours but is very in-depth. You can complete it and get your certificate on the same day. When selecting the classes, ensure that the program follows the American Heart Association guidelines.
Classes are open to anyone. Start on your path to saving lives by getting CPR certification in Alabama.
What to Expect
During training for CPR certification in Alabama, you can expect to cover every aspect of giving CPR. This includes learning to recognize the first signs of distress, find a pulse, give basic life support, perform all steps for full CPR, and use an AED machine. After completion, you will have the skills and confidence to assist any person of any age during a medical emergency.
Classes last around 3 hours and are led by competent instructors. You will receive your certificate after completion on the same day. The certification lasts two years and will need to be renewed regularly. But the skills you learn and the confidence you gain will last a lifetime.
CPR Certification in Alabama: Your Path to Saving Lives: Final Words
CPR is simple, easy to learn, and can help save lives. Anyone can and should use it. During medical emergencies, it can be the difference that saves someone’s life. It can also drastically improve the overall survival rates of victims.
Have the confidence and training to help the people you care about and your community as well. Take the first step on your path to saving lives and get your CPR Certification in Alabama.